One type of paella recipe that is in high demand right now is the famous wood-fired paella, which is cooked outdoors. It is essential to choose your location well as you need to avoid the wind, which can affect both the flame and the cooking process.
But is there really a difference between a paella cooked over wood and one cooked over a gas flame? Pay attention to the following points!
- Cooking time: While cooking over gas is much faster and more automatic, cooking over wood requires a longer time for preparation as you need to supervise the fire and its intensity throughout the process.
- Flavour: The use of soft wood such as that from orange, olive, almond or oak trees means the rice will not take on a smoky aroma. The mixture of the flavours of the wood and the rice stock will give your paella a distinctive, unmistakable and delicious flavour. This is achieved when the properties of the rice allow the absorption of aromas and flavours. This technique is good for rice with seafood or chicken.
- The type of rice: If you’re a fearless person who likes taking risks in the kitchen, you could try the Sénia or J. Sendra varieties as these are the ones that offer the best absorption of flavours and give incredible results. Our advice is that if you don’t have a lot of experience with paellas you should go for a Bomba rice, as this remains loose with a good texture towards the end of the cooking process and tends not to overcook.
- And let’s not forget the socarraet: This describes the crispy, savoury crust formed by the rice on the bottom of the pan. It forms best when cooked over a wood fire and for many people this is the very best bit. Indeed, many people opt for this cooking method precisely so they can enjoy the famous socarraet.
- Cooking over wood is cheaper: Cooking over a wood fire is much more reasonable than cooking with gas, as you only use natural resources to make it.
So which one do you prefer? Do you lean more towards a wood-fired paella, or do you prefer to cook with gas? Let us know your thoughts!
Whatever the case, Vaello Campos has got a paella pan to suit every taste and cooking scenario. Learn more about them here!